I want to start a crematorium. Which organisation must I register with...

I want to start a crematorium. Which organisation must I register with and what is the procedure?


To start any new business you must write a business plan. As you gather the necessary information for the business plan you will find that starting this type of business requires a great deal of money.


Cremation units have to be built to exacting quality and safety standards and are not manufactured in South Africa. These units are all imported and one unit, without emission systems or installation, costs in the region of R1.2million.

Set up costs

“The cost to set up a fully functional crematorium in South Africa is around R7 million”, says Theo Rix, Managing director of Independent Crematoriums of SA. “Most people think that this is an easy way to make money, but it isn’t,” he says.

“It can take up to two years to get the necessary permits and permission from local municipalities and Government authorities. “ Because the paperwork is so extensive, we don’t attempt to do it ourselves. We employ attorneys to get the process going on our behalf,” says Rix. Rix explains that to make one unit viable you will have to cremate more than 60 bodies a month. “Location is crucial as you don’t want to be too near another crematorium. The recommended cost per cremation is R1000 (excluding the urn and the service),” says Rix.


To open a new crematorium business you would need to apply for a licence through your local municipality. There is no fee, but the application requires a great deal of work and preparation on your part. Further, you will also need to contact the Cemetery Board of the local municipality as well as the Department of Environmental Health to gain permission.

More Information

If you don’t have a background in crematory services, you will need to familiarise yourself with it. If you need more information, contact Independent Crematoriums of SA on 021 447 1150.

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